Our Aims

"Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." - Bertolt Brecht


Brilliant Fire Publications (BFP) is a barefoot publishing endeavour to help bring the work of new and unpublished poets to public attention. Guided by the words of Adrian Mitchell, who wrote, "Most people ignore most poetry, because most poetry ignores most people," we are not interested in deliberately obscurantist writing. We don't care how clever you think you are. What excites us is poetry that speaks to people, without having the audacity to think it speaks for the people. We work with writers and artists to help them achieve the aim of contacting a reading audience, as well as taking part in public performances and poetry happenings.


Brilliant Fire began as the occasional poetry newsletter of The Draper's Poetry Gig, a monthly event compered by the founder of Brilliant Fire Publications - who is also the Poet-in-Residence at The Draper's Arms Wetherspoon's public house in Peterborough, England. See below for more about the newsletter and other publications from BFP.


Travelling Shoes: My Story by Graham Ward (June 2018)

 Graham Ward has a long history of writing and performing poetry, and has produced many paintings influenced by his wide experience of life. This has included growing up under the influence of Rock ’n’ Roll - some significant practitioners of which he actually got to know - and his later experiences in the fascinating culture of Jamaica.


Graham has always been a keen observer of humanity, taking delight in the many and various characters he has encountered, from ideosyncratic dustmen and bus-drivers to famous Peterborough characters like Nobby the Tramp. In his paintings and poetry he portrays all of these people, and their circumstances, with sensitivity, humour, and affection. 


This new book offers the reader a great insight to the workings of an artist ’s mind. It will surprise, amuse, titillate, and maybe even shock some readers. 


Alan Dyer, Senior Lecturer in the Psychology of Art at Coventry University (now retired) has written, “Graham Ward is a Magical and Surreal Poet,” and a well-known figure on the local poetry scene, Mike Alderson, writes of Graham’s work, “The poems introduce us to the lives and stories of characters we meet in dreams and on the streets bright as paintings.”


This new book, combining poetry and illustrations from Graham’s artwork, will be an essential addition to the cultural life and history of Peterborough. 


Graham Ward will be welcoming the public into his home-based artist’s studio as part of the 2018 Peterborough Artist’s Open Studios programme between 2pm and 5pm on 23rd/24th/30th June and 1st/7th/8th July. The studio is at 13 Royal Court, Orton Longueville, Peterborough, PE2 7LN.


This new book will be on sale at the open studio events, and will be formally launched at The Draper’s Poetry Gig, The Draper’s Arms, Cowgate, Peterborough, at 8pm, on Sunday, 24 June, 2018. Admission is free and all are welcome.


This handsome, large format book, with full-colour illustrations, costs £17.50 and is published by Brilliant Fire Publications. You can order the book at the site shop by clicking on the image opposite.


Brilliant Fire

The Draper's Poetry Newsletter

The Draper's Arms is a Wetherspoons pub in Cowgate, Peterborough, England, where, in 2016, the pub manager, Chris Parkes, took the radical step of appointing a Poet-in-Residence.


Since then, there have been monthly poetry gigs starring some of the best local poets, such as Pete 'Cardinal' Cox, Charley Genever, Keely Mills, Mike Alderson, Amber-Page, and translator and poet Phil Dunkerley. The nationally-renowned radical poet Janine Booth has also performed. There have been a couple of sets from the internationally acknowledged recording artists ReidGraves (guitar and spoken word). There's also been a magician, a great Fado singer, and even a dancing horse!


Along with organising the gigs, Poet-in-Residence Ron Graves (founder of Brilliant Fire Publications) also produces the occassional newsletter, Brilliant Fire, which carries news of the gigs and features poetry by the stars of the show.


You can click on the image to access all issues of the Brilliant Fire newsletter.




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